MFA Students

Tom Charles Bair III


Although I’m studying fiction at the University of Pittsburgh, in practice I’ve enjoyed writing across genres. Poems have appeared in Provincetown Arts, The Chronogram, and Ragazine, and I was a finalist in Write Bloody Publishing’s 2011 manuscript competition; essays have been published on and; and, a digital fiction, makes up the bulk of my work in my new home genre.

Why, then, am I here to study fiction as opposed to poetry or nonfiction? One answer is that fiction has changed the patterns of my thinking and functioning more than any other kind of writing. Because it’s purposefully a product of the imagination and because its goal is to sustain a reader’s attention for hours and weeks and months, fiction has, in my opinion, an unparalleled ability to reprogram thought itself.

Why, though, reprogram thought? In short, it’s adaptive. Life is hard. Making money is hard, making decisions is hard, making a difference is hard. Little help is got from outdated modes of thought. Negotiating these things requires actively seeking out the latest software.

Otherwise I love Pittsburgh. Here with my partner and our dog. Feel free to reach out and chat. The password is I AM HERE BY THE GRACE OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT.     

Revised 09/13/2017
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